You’re getting hitched and that’s a cause for celebration, but don’t let those butterflies in your stomach prevent you from planning for the future with a premarital agreement. Prenups tend to have a bad reputation thanks to their depictions in movies and TV shows, but that doesn’t accurately reflect the reality of these important contracts. A premarital agreement properly crafted by an experienced attorney lets you focus on the love and commitment in your relationship instead of worrying about your monetary assets.
These agreements are particularly important if you already have a previous marriage or one (or both) of you own a business. Here’s what you need to know about premarital agreements before the big day.
Why You Should Consider a Premarital Agreement
There is a common misconception that premarital agreements are only useful in the event of a divorce. Unfortunately, that leads many newlyweds to ignore this critically important legal document as they assume their marriage will stand the test of time.
Here’s the truth—prenuptial agreements aren’t just there to protect you if things go sour in your relationship. Here’s what an agreement can do to help absolutely any marriage:
- Decide ahead of time how the couple can buy, sell, lease, or control properties or other assets
- Plan on a division of debts that are brought into the marriage or acquired during the course of your union
- Keep a family business within the family
- Maintain a separation between assets or property that you don’t want to become jointly owned
- Provide peace of mind if one of you is leaving your career to be a stay-at-home spouse or parent
- Protect your family assets if you have children from previous marriages
Understanding What Should Go in The Premarital Agreement
To avoid costly and emotionally draining court battles over the distribution of property after a divorce, a premarital agreement should be an important part of your overall estate planning strategy. Here’s what our legal team can help you put into an agreement before you say, “I do”:
- Dividing all property in the event of death or divorce
- Creating a clear division between property owned individually or jointly while you are still married
- Deciding where family heirlooms and assets will go
- Protecting one spouse from any potential debts of the other party
There’s another important reason an adept attorney should be consulted before walking down the aisle. A premarital agreement can be voided if isn't written correctly. That’s where our legal help comes in, because we understand the specifics of state law governing what can and can’t go in a prenuptial agreement. Specifically, provisions in the agreement are not enforceable under conditions like:
- Adversely affects a child’s right to support
- Breaking existing state or federal laws
- Leading a spouse to become eligible for public assistance after the divorce
- Creating a financial incentive for divorce
Let us help you with that delicate balancing act so you can start your marriage on solid footing.
Speak With a Wilmington Estate Planning Attorney Today
Getting ready to sign that marriage license and start a new adventure with your spouse? We’re here to help protect you and ensure a premarital agreement meets your specific needs. Even if you already have a prenup, we may be able to help you change the language if you and your spouse have decided the original contract no longer fits your situation. Please get in touch now for a free consultation to discuss your options.